With steadily increasing global competition, it is more important than ever that each employee in your organization have a clear understanding of the company’s overall vision, be in alignment with the organizational goals, and have identified how their day to day activities contribute to the accomplishment of these objectives.
No longer do people have the luxury of arriving at work, completing their assigned tasks, and going home, thinking, magically, that everything will continue to work out as before. We are experiencing a rapidly changing business climate, which demands shifts in attitudes and creative thinking in order to meet the challenges of the future.
How can your company accomplish this throughout your organization?
Beginning, as author Steven Covey, reminds us, “with the end in mind.” As an executive, you must ask yourself and your team what the “ideal” looks like in each key area. In sales, for example, what would be the ideal situation? How would it appear? What about manufacturing, administration, and distribution? If everything were operating perfectly, how would you describe it?
Bringing key management together for this type of strategic planing session will result in your having identified a crystal clear vision for the entire organization, with each and every segment of the business functioning at it’s optimal level.
This visioning exercise can then be adapted and used by each department to create a “mini” version for their own area of responsibility and, further, to the individual, enabling she or he to relate their job to the bigger picture as well as their personal goals.
Once you have a clear vision of what the ideal would be in each area of your organization, the next step is to identify several goals by which you can measure your progress. For the sake of this exercise, we’ll use a one year time frame, since this is a reasonable period to institute change, while allowing you to experience success early on.
Looking at each segment of your business, what would have to happen to accomplish your ideal vision? If, for example, in distribution, the ideal was to achieve 100% on time delivery and no more than a 72 hour turnaround, what are the measurable goals that would support it’s accomplishment?
When setting goals, it is important to use the S.M.A.R.T. method , whereby each goals is Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, and Timed. Specifically, what will you accomplish by when? Then, from your list of goals, you can develop 30–90 day milestones and further reduce those to identify the daily actions that must be taken in order to succeed.
For example, part of the vision for your sales department might be, “To be the best in our industry. To be the ‘gold standard’ by which our competition measures itself against.” This will likely translate to an increase in sales, improved customer retention, better referrals and so on.
From this, the sales woman in your New Jersey territory may, looking at her personal vision and goals, decide she wants to earn 50% more in commissions and calculates that this would require XX dollars in sales each quarter. From this, she has determined, based on past performance, how many sales per month she needs and, further, how many presentations she needs to make each week. This breaks down further into how many calls she needs to make each day in order to accomplish this, what additional systems she might implement to achieve better customer retention, and which networking functions would best support her vision.
With each and every individual, in each and every department, holding the same, clear vision and knowing their role in it’s accomplishment, you will experience a level of success beyond your wildest expectations.